Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gal Gamers Geekier Than Guys - A study in the Journal of Communication

Gal Gamers Geekier Than Guys

A study in the Journal of Communication found that women who engage in a role-playing game online actually spend more time in the alternate reality than the guy players do. Karen Hopkin reports.

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Picture a gamer, someone who spends countless hours immersed in one of those online role-playing alternate realities. And what do you see? Is it a physically fit female closer to 40 than 14? If not, you may need to rethink your assumptions about geekdom. Because a study in the Journal of Communication shows that when it comes to dominating the virtual world, women are actually more hardcore than men.

Scientists conducted a survey of some 7,000 players who were logged on to a game called EverQuest II. And they discovered some interesting things. First off, the average age of the gamers surveyed was 31. And that playing time tended to increase with age. Which is also where the sex differences come in. The female gamers actually logged more time online: an average of 29 hours a week, versus 25 for the males, with the top players putting in 57 hours a week on the girl’s side, and 51 for the guys. What’s more, it looks like women are more likely to lie about how much they really play. The researchers found that the gals tended to lowball how long they spend glued to the screen.

So, never ask a women her age. Or how much time she spends defeating the dark elves to rebuild the world of Norrath.

—Karen Hopkin

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